BGF hails £100m investment milestone and record year for exits

Investor BGF has injected more than £100m of investment into the Midlands in 2021, backing some of the most entrepreneurial businesses in the region.

BGF is a long-term patient investor, making initial investments between £1m to £15m for a minority equity stake.

In the last 12 months, BGF’s Midlands team completed nine new investments, while continuing to provide growth capital and follow-on funding for its existing portfolio.

Investments in 2021 included £10.25m in mobile data specialist and eSIM Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) Jola Cloud Solutions; £8.5m in Antser, a leading innovator in social care; and £13m in Bambino Mio a reusable nappy firm.

In 2021, BGF exited 10 businesses in the Midlands, including Chase Distillery, which was acquired by global beverage and alcohol company Diageo, and Nottingham-based life sciences incubation business, BioCity.

BGF also provided follow-on funding to its investees, including Aceleron, the UK developer of sustainable and reusable battery solutions. The funding is enabling the innovative company to scale the production of its unique circular economy battery technology and expand its reach across global markets including the UK, Europe, Africa and Americas.

Andy Gregory, chief investment officer at BGF, said: “The Midlands is rich with innovative and fast-growing businesses eager to expand their footprint and realise the significant potential that exists in their sectors. The last 12 months have posed considerable challenges to regional, entrepreneurial companies but, despite this, they have ploughed on with ambitious growth strategies and we’re delighted to have played a part in making those scale-up plans a reality.

“This year’s success for BGF reaffirms our flexible model and point of difference in the market as business owners in our portfolio have been able to take advantage of attractive investment opportunities for themselves and BGF.”

Three new investors joined the team last year. David Bellis, Nick Holder and Elena Kovalikhina will support new and existing portfolio companies such as Johnsons Aggregates & Recycling and leading provider of occupational health and corporate wellbeing services, Medigold Health.

Gregory added: “There have been seismic changes in almost all sectors across the region, but this has also created a wealth of opportunity. The Midlands has a strong presence across a wide range of industries so is perfectly positioned in 2022 to adapt to the ever-changing landscape.”

Strong regional momentum comes off the back of a significant year for BGF as a whole, which has seen the growth capital investor complete 67 new deals and invest £600m over the course of 2021 – a record year for the fund.